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Swalm’s generous MSU gift example of community spirit

Due to the generosity of a former Brookhavenite, 25 localstudents each year will receive a major boost towards paying theircollege education.

Dave Swalm, a 1950 graduate of Brookhaven High School, felt theneed to give back to his former hometown with a gift that helpslocal students reach for higher goals. A successful businessman inTexas, the Brookhaven native made his fortune in the petrochemicalbusiness.

In 1968, with his life savings of $6,000 at risk, he parlayeddedication and hard work in to a multi-million dollar manufacturingcompany. He sold the company in 1996 for $500 million.

His $5 million dollar gift to Mississippi State University willallow Brookhaven High School and Brookhaven Academy students anannual $2,500 scholarship to pursue technical fields at MSU.

Speaking at a luncheon honoring him this past week, Swalm toldthe group it was his hope that his gift would spark others to helptheir schools and hometowns. He also chided students, “to remembertheir roots and try to give something back to help others.”

Swalm’s generosity is overwhelming. His desire to give back tohis community while encouraging others to do the same is a goal weall can strive to accomplish.

We repeatedly have written about the how the community spirit ofour citizens is what makes us soar. Swalm’s gift is another exampleof just that.